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ABC World News Now

News/Business. Rob Nelson, Paula Faris. Global news. New. (CC)

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02:20:00

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Sandy 80, Abc 30, New York 29, Manhattan 23, New Jersey 16, Us 15, Ohio 11, Fema 9, New York City 9, Medicare 8, The City 8, Christie 8, At&t 8, Abc News 7, Queens 7, Paula 7, Atlantic City 7, Nyu 6, New Lysol Power & Free 6, Unitedhealthcare Insurance Company 6,
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  ABC    ABC World News Now    News/Business. Rob Nelson,  
   Paula Faris. Global news. New. (CC)  

    October 31, 2012
    1:40 - 4:00am PDT  

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>> you hear people, who this is their business. weather, covered it for years. to hear them talk about it in such term of being so amazed. puts it into perspective how bad this really was. how many storms as he seen. this one caught him by surprise. unbelievable. >> it was the perfect storm. sandy fueled a massive fire in queens, one of the most destructive in the history of the city. >> this story is beyond heartbreaking. the wind-driven flames ripped through block after block, destroying more than 100 homes, 111, latest count. firefighters managed to rescue two dozen people. floodwaters kept them from tackling the blaze full on. before it was over, the neighborhood was unrecognizable reduced to nothing but smouldering ash. >> the life got ripped out of you. that's a good description. >> i have over 34 years on the job. i have never seen this before. this amount of devastation. >> amazingly there only a few minor injuries. breezy point was also devastated on 9/11, losing 37 residents, including firefighters in the
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world trade center. also the home currently to a representative in congress as well. >> take a look at the video. it is apocalyptic, the scenes. in all, 111 homes all burned. they don't know the cause just yet. that is look a movie scene out of there. out of all the horrible scenes we are going to see from the aftermath. the fire in queens, that neighborhood, i find that particularly heartbreaking. god bless the folks out there. an entire community just wiped out. the firefighters to a certain extent were helpless against it. just unbelievable. unbelievable. >> the cruel irony, the fire fighters, majority of firefighters that live there. yet a blaze they could do nothing about. >> so sad. well, to lighten it up here with great story about a quite an arrival during the storm. >> little liam schleppy couldn't wait to get life going monday.
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his mom christine started having serious contractions just as they lost power. after two ambulance ride they arrived, not at a hospital but at a church gym. >> sure they were praying. where christine gave birth. the help of doctors who never delivered a child before. and with no anesthesia. 5 pound, 2 ounce, liam, mom and dad all doing well. he is a beautiful little baby. >> welcome to the world, kid. >> our coverage of the aftermath of hurricane sandy continues after the break. up next we'll take you to communities where families lost everything in an instant, and first responders frantically rushed those people to safety. ♪ >> announcer: "world news now" weather brought to you by consumer cellular. >> announcer: "world news now" weather brought to you by consumer cellular. [ female announcer ] so how long have you been living flake-free
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the pictures just -- can't put those into word. one of the hardest hit towns in the hard it hit state is little ferry, new jersey. sandy's tidal surge overwhelming the levee meant to protect it. >> within an hour, little ferry was under water. and within another hour the rescues were under way. abc's alex perez is there. >> reporter: rescuers made their way through flooded streets,
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picking up stranded families. >> do you want to come out? >> what? >> reporter: the boats bringing people to where they could be trucked to safety. whole families, huddling together in the backs of trucks. >> the entire first floor gone. we were able to go up on the second floor, which was us. the water is almost gone. we have a baby. >> baby, baby. >> reporter: the frantic rescue operation began after sandy's storm surge swamped new jersey. >> it happened so fast. within 15 minutes we had ten feet of water. >> reporter: stunned residents like vincent grabbed whatever they could as the waters rose. >> there's nothing there no more. nothing. you can't salvage anything. >> reporter: new jersey took the brunt of sandy's wrath, the coast especially hit hard. these images from the town of seaside heights. neighborhoods consumed by sand and water.
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down the shore, look at this. the community of seabright before sandy. and seabright today just buried. in atlantic city the iconic boardwalk now in ruins. the recovery in the garden state just beginning. but saving lives was the top priority. >> she can't walk. thoughts are she's in good spirits, she's not injured, and we're just waiting to get her to her daughter and get her to an evacuation center. >> reporter: first responders also racing to save lives in new york. boats navigating the swamped streets of staten island across the harbor. terrified 3-year-old haley romby lifted into the arms of safety. so the rescues continue. >> guys, you can just put them on the boat! >> reporter: sandy may have taken away these people's home, but she couldn't take away what they cherished the most. rescue crews are expected to
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continue working through the night to make sure people stranded in their home are able to got to safety. most people say they thought they were prepared for the storm. one family tells me they moved all of their valuables, their belongings up, four feet off the ground inside their home. the problem is, they got five feet of water inside their home. alex perez, abc news, little ferry, new jersey. >> announcer: "world news no
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welcome back. president obama will be in new jersey touring the storm damage with governor christie. welcome back. president obama will be in new jersey touring the storm damage with governor christie. >> the election is less than a week away. and sandy has blown both candidates off course. here is jonathan karl. >> reporter: mitt romney transformed the planned ohio rally into a bid to support relief efforts. >> we won't be able to solve all the problems with our efforts this morning. one of the things i learned in life is you make the difference you can. >> reporter: it has all the trappings of a traditional campaign event, stage, big
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american flag, campaign music, lots of romney supporters. but you also have over here canned goods and supplies that people have brought for victims of the storm. the storm put romney in a bind. while the president can lead relief efforts -- >> this is something heartbreaking for the nation. >> reporter: there's not much for romney to do beyond encouraging supporters to pitch in. with fema working overtime, democrats are hammering him for what he said at a debate when asked if some of fema's responsibilities should be turned over to the states. >> absolutely. any time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that's the right direction. and if you can go even further and send it back to the private sector, that's even better. >> reporter: romney wouldn't answer questions about that. >> governor, would you eliminate fema if you were president? >> reporter: with canceled events, the campaign continues.
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bill clinton led a rally in indianapolis that appeared entirely political. with a race this close, not even a storm of the century can bring the campaign to a halt. jonathan karl, abc news, kettering, ohio. cover everything. only about 80% of your part b medical expenses. the rest is up to you. so consider an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. like all standardized medicare supplement plans, they pick up some of what medicare doesn't pay. and save you up to thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket costs. call today to request a free decision guide to help you better understand what medicare is all about. and which aarp medicare supplement plan works best for you. with these types of plans, you'll be able to visit any doctor or hospital that accepts medicare patients... plus, there are no networks, and you'll never need a referral to see a specialist. there's a range of plans to choose from, too. and they all travel with you. anywhere in the country.
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sign up at rid-x.com. and, finally, what turned hurricane sandy into a hybrid monster was that arctic front that it collided with when it arrived on land. >> and that triggered a blizzard on the edges of the storm, and abc's lisa stark put on her snow boots to find out how people are coping with their early blast of winter. >> reporter: western maryland remains buried in snow. up to 2 feet in some areas. one of eight states walloped with blizzard conditions when sandy roared through. in west virginia even those sent out to rescue others had to be rescued. and at the snowshoe mountain resort, snow drifted into piles
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three feet high, whipped by 60-mile-an-hour winds. truckers and travelers were forced to wait out the blizzard when a major highway from maryland to west virginia was shut down for nearly 50 miles. when we caught up with kevin, he had been stranded for 15 hours. >> been here since what, 8:00. >> reporter: in maryland, road crews struggled to open the roads. >> chain saw. >> reporter: it took mark wells five hours to hack through 50 to 60 trees jet to get to work. >> it was pretty treacherous. the trees were falling behind me as fast as i was cutting them out in front of me. >> reporter: wells had no sleep and there are more roads to clear. the problem isn't just the depth of the snow -- it is deep. it's the weight. this is a very heavy, wet snow. you can see the branches of the trees. they just can't stand up to it. all of those falling trees brought down power lines. like everyone here, the myers have no electricity. >> i have seen a lot of snow up
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here. not from the hurricane. >> reporter: it is not over yet. blizzard warnings remain. lisa stark, abc new, grandville, maryland. >> the storm was amazing. you think about it. hurricane wrapped in a nor'easter wrapped in a blizzard. it was everything. the most all-encompassing system. most have ever witnessed. beyond the flooding and rain here. you had feet of snow. incredible. some places up to 26 inches of snow. >> my family back in michigan. columbus, ohio, got drilled with snow as well. lake michigan expecting the highest waves on record. around 22 feet high. >> that was the thing about the storm, the sheer size of it. 1,000 miles from cloud to cloud. in addition to being, at the center, category 3. don't let category 1 fool you. center terms of pressure. cat 3. same size as katrina. size of it cloud to cloud, hard to escape its grip for most of the country. just an amazing system. ñsñs
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this morning on "world news now" -- after the perfect storm. this morning on "world news now" -- after the perfect storm. >> for more than 8 million people struggling in the cold and dark, life as they know it is turned upside down, but they will recover. for at least 50 people, hurricane sandy proved deadly. >> that nature is more powerful than we are. >> after a devastating blow from nature, new york city is already on the rebound. its mass transit and airports, it stores and stock exchanges coming back to life. its neighbor, new jersey, still in deep pain. >> i have met some folks there that obviously now have no place to live at the moment, and are extraordinarily emotional. and what they wanted more than anything else was just, you
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know, to see me and to get a hug. >> a shore spot called fun town is now a mangled ghost town. haunting images on this halloween. in the face of the worst storm many people will ever see, some of the best of human nature, the bravery, the generosity, the determination to rebuild is on full display. it is wednesday, october 31st. >> announcer: from abc news, this is "world news now." and good wednesday morning, everyone. i'm paula faris. kind of a somber mood to this halloween. >> absolutely. feels a little strange, a little surreal this morning. good morning, everybody. i'm rob nelson. the impact and images from this storm will not soon be forgotten. >> so much has been lost and the clean-up it is just beginning. for many the grief will be lasting. >> but communities are proving as powerful as mother nature helping one another move into the future one determined step at a time. and so we begin this wednesday
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morning, a morning in which two of the three major airports sevening new york city are reopening, though, with limited service. >> the one not opening, la guardia was seen from above by abc's juju chang, it was part of a long helicopter tour she took yesterday. >> what's going on? >> it's closed! you have to go to another route! >> reporter: it took as much of the day navigating through streets made treacherous by sandy's fury. >> oh, my gosh. we just got hit by a wave. >> reporter: we managed to rendezvous with a coast guard at a shuttered airport in new jersey. for a harrowing bird's eye view of this wounded city. >> look at this neighborhood right here. oh, man. >> it's devastated. >> the building is gone entirely. >> reporter: their mission, to get a more accurate picture of sandy's impact. >> just more flooding down here on the left side. >> reporter: new york's rivers surged above the banks of lower manhattan with a record 13-foot
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wall of water. you could see the damage everywhere. the city's vital infrastructure, its underground subways crippled. the system that carries 5 million riders every day, still a deluge tunnel of darkness. authorities say it will take days to pump the water out of 46 miles of flooded track. largely because of that, the city is paralyzed for now. schools, restaurants, and many businesses remain closed. with subways shut down, the only way on and off this island are its bridges and tunnels, which are slowly beginning to reopen. >> open for business. >> oh, my goodness. that is amazing. >> reporter: but flying out of this city is easier said than done. >> looks like la guardia is sinking into the ocean. >> reporter: that's laguardia down there. it normally handles a thousand flights a day. now a modern-day atlantis. >> it looks like a river. >> it does. i couldn't see it at first. >> reporter: it doesn't look
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like a land mass. it looks like a lake or a pond. >> as we fly around the lower tip of manhattan. even new york's waterways are scarred. >> a lot of oil or something right down there. by pier 17. >> reporter: every one of the skyscrapers are without power. they're just dark. there is no street lights. there is no stop lights. in fact, the only lights are the headlights of the comed trucks frantically trying to restore power. as they work through the night, which may be fitting for a city that never sleeps. i'm juju chang in manhattan. >> what a view on the destruction. oh, amazing piece. president obama visits new jersey later today to see the damage firsthand. the state's famed jersey shore took a direct hit as sandy roared ashore. >> powerful winds and ocean surge knocked houses off their foundations, demolished boardwalks, and wrecked amusement rides. viewing the damage was obviously an emotional moment for the state's usually brash governor. >> as a kid who was born and raised in this state and who spent a lot of time over my life, both my childhood and my
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adult life at the jersey shore. we'll rebuild it. no question in my mind, we'll rebuild it. but for those of us who are my age, it won't be the same. it'll be different because many of the iconic things that made it what it was are now gone and washed into the ocean. >> more than half of the state is without power, and now residents are being warned that leaking fuel and standing water could spark an explosion. as if the flooding wasn't enough, now they're worrying about a gas explosion. >> you could really hear the emotion in governor krchristie' voice. you can feel that, the sense of loss so clear. up the coast there are new questions this morning about a power failure at one of new york's prestigious hospitals. hundreds of patients had to be evacuated from nyu medical center. >> now a trustee says the hospital board, rather, knew the
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generators were out of date and at risk before the storm hit. abc's david muir was at the hospital as the evacuation began. >> reporter: when we arrived, all you could see was the outline of the hospital against a darkened sky. a lone flashlight in one of the hospital rooms there, as doctors and nurses rushed from patient to patient. out front, ambulances, images from my iphone as we approached the hospital. just one of the nearly 300 patients who were one by one brought out and taken to safety. from the sky, ambulances lined up around the block from all over the city. and we're learning more about the moment the lights went out, the moment the critical machines, the respirators stopped. this young doctor right there. >> the patients on ventilators. >> the babies. >> babies, yeah. >> reporter: their first concern, babies in intensive care. 20 of them. this nurse clutching a newborn wrapped in a blanket holding one of those plastic bags. she was doing the work of the respirators herself. in fact, all the nurses in the unit were doing what's called bagging the air.
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literally squeezing bags of air into the tiny little lungs. cradling the babies and carrying them nine floors down. another baby rushed out, dwarfed by the size of the gurney. once outside, the bag replaced with oxygen brought in by paramedics. an entire team surrounding one baby. in fact, a hospital source telling me that's what they did moment the power was cut off. dividing into teams, surrounding one patient at time, carefully bringing them down a darkened stairwell, carrying them on plastic sleds rushed in by tl paramedics. flashlights all they had to see their way. >> there is literally like a bunch of people who would go with each patient carry them down the stairs physically. >> reporter: they were pulled out on the sled, sliding along the hospital floor. one by one we watched. still evacuating long after the sun came up. it is 10:00 a.m. in the morning, you can see there is still a line of ambulances all the way up the street here. this operation has been going on for 12 hours now. you can see them lining up still at the front entrance of the hospital here as they carefully bring the patients down. >> 15 hours after the evacuations began they were done. and the president had learned of the heroic nurses and those newborns. >> during the darkness of the
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storm, i think we also saw what's brightest in america, nurses at nyu hospital carrying fragile newborns to safety. >> reporter: it's really remarkable what the nurses and doctors did with all the machines down. they started pumping air into the tiny lungs of the newborns on their own when the res straighters failed, keeping the babies alive. we know six area hospitals here in new york took every one of the patients from this hospital, four of the patients who left here were women in labor and we have learned that at least two of them have now given birth. david muir, abc news, new york. >> unbelievable. >> wow. heartbreaking story -- in breezy point, queens, they were bracing for water, but what they got was a fire so fierce more than 100 homes burned to the ground. >> i believe you described it as apocalypt apocalyptic, rob. sandy forced the flames through the neighborhood like a blow torch glowing across the top of the dark sky. waist-deep floodwaters held firefighters at bay. by daybreak it looked like a war zone.
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obliterated homes with only chimneys still standing. >> a part of your life got ripped out of you? >> that's a good description. >> i have over 34 years on the job. i have never seen this before, this amount of devastation. >> the fire was one of the worst in the city's history. amazingly, no one was killed. folks if you are going to donate in the aftermath of the storm, keep that community and those folks in mind, please. that is just beyond devastating. amid our reporting on the storm and its aftermath. we're starting to hear talk about whether or not sandy was the result of climate change. >> now, scientists say it's unfair to blame the storm and destruction in the change in the earth's climate. there is no conclusive link between any one storm and global warming. nonetheless, new york's governor calls it all a new reality. >> we have a 100-year flood every two years now. and i think at this point it is undeniable that we have a higher frequency of these extreme weather situations, and we're going to have to deal with it.
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>> scientists have concluded as the climate warms, there will be fewer total hurricanes, but they say those that do develop will be stronger and wetter. >> an issue we have not unfortunately heard much about in the campaign. in light of this, you hope it would generate some discussion. what about the governor's question, in the aftermath of storms like these there is always speculation that things are getting worse. >> so we took that particular question to meteorologist jim dickey of accuweather.com to see just how unusual a weather pattern like this is. >> good morning, rob and paula. well, sandy will likely go down as one of if not the worst storms to ever impact the new jersey beaches and new york city. the reason behind this unprecedented impact is the unusual path this storm took. sandy's path took it directly into southern new jersey. al worst-case scenario for the region. now here, every line you see on this graphic is the track the tropical system took that impacted the new york city area. well, as you can see, a number of tropical systems did hit through the years. no storm took that path into southern new jersey like sandy did on monday.
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so why this unusual path, and why is it unseen until first off, important to note, tropical systems do spot in october. the atlantic hurricane season ends november 30th here, there is a secondary peak in october of tropical storm formation. in fact, it is because the storm occurred so late in october, in my opinion, that it was able to take the path it did. through the fall, the jet stream migrates its way southward and strengthens, bringing shots of cold air southward with it. it was one of the cold shots of air, powerful one at that, that allowed sandy to become the superstorm it did and also that forced it to come in land at the sharp angle that it did. because of the storm's path, strong winds were directed inland at high tide into the new york city area, into the new jersey beaches.
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this produced the devastating storm surge the like of which the region hasn't seen in recent memory if ever and hopefully will not see again for a long, long time. rob and paula, back to you. >> our thanks to accuweather's jim dickey. here is maybe an indication of how things are going up here in new york. do you remember that massive crane in midtown, manhattan, that was brought down by sandy's powerful wind? well, new york's mayor says he feels very good about it now. >> he might be the only one that feels good about it. the crane has been secured and all the gas and steam lines in that area have been turned off. that is to avoid a fire in the event that, if it were to come crashing down. the streets around there, closed. offices are said to be closed indefinitely. he says once the wind dies down, the mayor says, the city will find a way to pull it in, all ten tons of it. >> that will be an amazing operation. that thing's a thousand feet up in the air. you don't want to see it fall. probably the shrapnel alone could do damage. the city has done a good job blocking off a significant area around, including carnegie hall, one of our famous landmarks/venues here. keeping an eye on it. keep it up there. >> it's become a tourist attraction, as you mentioned. >> as it does. coming up -- our coverage of hurricane sandy continues after the break. an emotional day really for new jersey's governor. his memories of the areas that
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have endured so much devastation. >> but first, sandy may be the biggest october surprise of all for political campaigns. some say the storm has the candidates playing politics. it's all coming up on "world news now." . ♪ >> announcer: "world news now" weather brought to you by lysol power and free. by lysol power and free. and harshness of bleach. and free ourselves from worrying about the ones we love. new lysol power & free has more cleaning power than bleach. how? the secret is the hydrogen peroxide formula. it attacks tough stains and kills 99.9% of germs. new lysol power & free. powerful cleaning that's family friendly. another step forward in our mission for health.
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morning, shaking things up from coast to coast. >> this storm is so powerful. it has scrambled a presidential election that is now less than a week away. here is abc's bill weir. >> reporter: sandy may be 50 miles outside of pittsburgh, but she's dropping a full assortment of meteorological misery from georgia to wisconsin. on the west virginia/maryland border it comes in the form of snow, enough to turn 50 miles of interstate into a treacherous parking lot. they're expecting 14 inches of this in north carolina. meanwhile, in cleveland, the storm scarred the rock 'n' roll hall of fame before churning up waves of lake michigan, high enough to set records and force folks from their midwestern homes. and the fact that all of this is playing out a week before election day could make sandy the mother of all october surprises. while it looked look a campaign stop in battleground ohio, mitt romney deliberately stepped off the stump to accept relief donations and encourage more,
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but he avoided questions about his previous stance on the role of fema. meanwhile president obama stayed in washington to visit the red cross and attend briefings, coordinate governors and utility ceos. >> i think he has handled it well. >> reporter: either a compassionate decision or calculated one depending on who was calling into ron verb's radio show in youngstown, ohio. >> you are on the air, nick, go ahead, please. >> where was he when it happened in benghazi. four people died. he flew to las vegas. he learned his lesson, that's all. >> reporter: one republican's mind that seemed to change at least for now. governor chris christie. >> i want to thank the president personally for his personal attention to this. >> reporter: obama will be with christie in new jersey. and sandy will be in canada. and what it all means for the election is still destined to be a november surprise. i'm bill weir in youngstown, ohio. >> announcer: "world news now" continues after this from our
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governor chris christie was governor chris christie was visibly shaken after surveying what sandy had done to his state. >> new jersey's governor described how emotional it has been to witness all the loss. >> let me start with i just never thought i would see what i saw today, ever. i have met some folks there that obviously now have no place to live at the moment and are
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extraordinarily emotional. and what they wanted more than anything else was just, you know, to see me and to get a hug. we got back up into the helicopter and flew to the jersey shore of my youth, where we used to go all the time, to the boardwalk at seaside heights, and it is gone. the pier with the rides where i was -- took my kids this august before the republican convention, those rides are in the atlantic ocean. the rides my two younger kids rode this summer are in the atlantic ocean. the roller coaster, all of them. the stand in the middle of the boardwalk that sells sausage and peppers and lemonade is gone. and i looked for it today. and the entire structure is gone. >> there is -- >> very emotional. >> yeah, really is. >> there's politics then there is real life.
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we feel your pain, governor. and we'll be right back. nor. and we will be right back. ♪ we will be right back.
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♪ ♪
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>> how do those images not move you on this halloween morning? unbelievable. it really is just a surreal feeling up and down the coast. >> i think the image that gets me is the medical personnel, just from nyu medical's center taking those little babies, those 20 babies from the nicu, manually administering the oxygen. a lot of families didn't know that their children, their own children, their own infants were being transferred until they saw them on tv. >> guardian angels in the hospital. finally this half hour, the staggering toll of superstorm sandy has now killed at least 50 people across 11 states, at least 20 of them in the new york tri-state area alone.
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>> that number is certain to grow. and there are power outages in nearly half the state in this country. 8.2 million people are in the dark right now. across 21 states. in the eastern seaboard. and the great lakes. i know con edison in new york says this storm was the worst in its history. and the power is not expected to be back before the weekend. >> getting the subways back up and running dependent upon the power coming back on. really new york city is paralyzed by this. the subway system, the lifeblood of this town. there is so much riding on the power getting back up. every day, conveniences, plus getting the city in motion and the railroad. i hope, obviously, as you have watched the show for a while. you know, i lived in new orleans for katrina. this has brought back a lot of memories from 2005. the same scenes played out in the south. now that it happened in the different part of the country, opened people's eyes it can happen in more than one part of the country and sensitize people to just how bad these storms can be. i hope maybe t
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this morning on "world news now -- after the perfect storm. >> today the president heads into the heart of hurricane sandy's path of destruction where new jersey's governor has already taken the heartbreaking tour. >> more than 8 million people are facing days, maybe weeks without power. clean-up crews and utility companies are stretched to the limit, and reinforcements are coming in from thousands of miles away. many people have lost much more than power. >> at least 50 people have lost their lives, most of them killed by trees that were no match for hurricane sandy's furious water and wind. it's wednesday, october 31st. >> announcer: from abc news, this is "world news now."
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we welcome you this wednesday morning to "world news now." i'm paula faris. >> good morning, everybody. you heard the death toll in the opening there too. just a little bit of glimpse of what happened. an off-duty nypd officer got drowned in his basement after evacuating his family to the attic. elsewhere, a 14-year-old girl was found dead under the rubble of a collapsed house. to give you -- the sense of the 50-plus people who passed away in the storm, what they've been through, how they met their end. speaks volumes about the danger. good morning, everybody, on a surreal halloween morning. as you can imagine, the past 36 hours have changed the landscape of many communities on the east coast and further inland. >> the remnants of hurricane sandy moved west towards pittsburgh, pennsylvania, weakening with each mile. >> the storm may be getting a little bit weaker, but the destruction she left behind is strengthening the resolve of those who suffered the most. >> and we begin in seaside heights where residents are
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spending yet another night in the dark. >> many made the decision not to leave, and now they're stranded inside their homes with no power. 65% of the state, in fact, has no electricity. >> there is a new threat. officials warn that leaking fuel in the standing water, it could spark explosions. new jersey's governor saw the damage firsthand. >> we'll rebuild it. no question in our mind, we'll rebuild it. but for those of us who are my age, it won't be the same. it will be different because many of the iconic things that made it what it was are now gone and washed into the ocean. >> an emotional governor christie. experts say that sandy will end up causing about $20 billion in property damage and $10 billion to $30 billion in lost business. >> several communities in northern new jersey were inundated by floodwaters after sandy's tidal surge overwhelmed a levee meant to protect them.
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the residents in the hard-hit town of little ferry said 10 feet of water rose within 15 minutes. hundreds of people were brought to safety in boats or in the back of trucks. no word on when they will be able to go home or what they will find once they do return home. >> and two major new york city area airports will reopen this morning. but as you can see, la guardia airport will not be one of them. there it is. looking more like a lake than an airport. there is still standing water on the runways. the airport has no power. limited service well resume. meanwhile at jfk. the airport in new jersey. the airport in newark, new jersey, as well. it could be the weekend or beyond before air travel nationwide is finally back to normal. it is likely to take at least that long before new york city's subway is back in full operation. the floodwaters that poured into the city's deepest tunnels may pose the biggest obstacle to recovery. all that filthy water has to be pumped out and then repaired. the rail beds and equipment must
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be inspected. limited bus service in the city resumed. amtrak plans to offer some northeast service today. definitely a logistical nightmare here in the northeast. >> subways up and running, free of charge, which is good. a slow start. yeah. >> crews in lower manhattan are working throughout the night to restore power to the 750,000 people there who are still in the dark. officials with the local utility con edison says sandy is the worst storm they have ever seen. power is not expected to be back before the weekend. also, in lower manhattan, a major hospital is empty after its backup generator failed. >> hundreds of patients at nyu medical center had to be evacuated after the facility was plunged into darkness. abc's brandy hit is joining us from outside the hospital with more on the amazing rescue operation. >> reporter: good morning, rob. good morning, paula. talk about a delicate situation that tugs at your heart when you see this video. it was 24 hours ago here that
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the power went out in lower manhattan. that included nyu medical center, and their backup generators did not function properly. they had an emergency on their hands. they had so many critical care patients they had to get out and get to safety. many of them on respirators. when you look at the video of the 20 babies that the nurses and doctors carried down dark hallways, very slowly and delicately. some of them, they needed respirators, and so you saw nurses actually manually pumping air into their lungs to keep them alive, get them down the stairs and to ambulances on standby to take them to other area hospitals. it was an emotional sight. the doctors, nurses, you know they helped several critically injured also with battery-operated equipment. they've been training for this for so long. this is when their training kicked in. and it all went off without a hitch as well, which is amazing
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when you consider the circumstances, according to abc news' dr. jennifer ashton. >> when you talk about moving patients out of a hospital and taking them down multiple flights of stairs, it is a logistical and medical nate mair. >> reporter: she and many others were really surprised that something like this went off without a hitch, and so glads that it did. those patients are now being treated, successfully, at other area hospitals, we are told. and president obama today, praised the doctors and the nurses here for working together. this is when you have teamwork, and it goes off successfully. as you can see here, though, still in lower manhattan, we are in the dark right now. and hopefully, we continue to see more stories of hope like this instead of stories of sadness that we're likely going to see in the next few days. >> thanks to brandi hitt, live for us this morning from manhattan. thanks, brandi. we turn to one of the most haunting images from sandy. a destructive fire that turned a queens, new york, neighborhood into a pile of burning embers.
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>> the flames ripping through 111 homes fanned by sandy's powerful wind. this morning it is being called one of the worst the city has ever seen. we have more now from abc's elizabeth vargas. >> reporter: breezy point was engulfed not only by wind and rain from hurricane sandy, but something unexpected, fire. >> dozens, up to 100 homes have been decimated and left in a rubble. >> reporter: a stunned beachfront community, firemen, policemen, blue collar workers took stock of what was gone. not a single thing you can save? >> nothing i can really identify except for the kitchen tile and bathroom tile. >> reporter: while the cause is unknown, there is no question the fire was ferocious. the flames were fed by hurricane-force winds. hydrants were submerged. fire engines stranded helplessly blocks away by rising floodwaters. >> i'm in a community of 4,200 homes out here. this is a community that lost the most people during 9/11, firefighters and cops during 9/11.
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this community was hit horribly tonight. the people here are amazing people, people with a lot of pride to them. and they're keeping it, and people i've spoken to tonight said they're going to rebuild and somehow they'll get through this. >> reporter: it will be a long time before anyone in this neighborhood we walked through will be able to call breezy point home. more than 100 homes burned to the ground. dreams of retirement cottages now reduced to piles of ash. >> i haven't seen anything like this in my career. the only thing that came close to this was 9/11. >> reporter: this community, home to so many firefighters and first responders, has seen more than its share of tragedy. 29 of their own killed on 9/11. this is senator charles schumer's home district. he came today as well. have you ever seen anything like this? >> never. and i asked 20 firefighters who have had probably 1,000 years, 500 years of experience, asked
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them if they've ever seen anything like this. never have. >> reporter: just as it has done before, breezy point is picking up the pieces. i am elizabeth vargas, breezy point, new york. >> tragedy of 9/11, hard hit. and now this. that part of the story takes your breath away. just the scope of the disaster there. 111 homes gone. >> and counting. there was a mandatory evacuation. 60% of the residents decided to stay and just kind of ride it out. and as you pointed out, this, this area is filled with firefighters and police officers who actually live and reside there and she mentioned, there is a nearby fire department and, the fire chief says we saw the glow, we couldn't do a thing. they couldn't get to their phones. couldn't get to their truck. >> had to watch it burn, which had to be -- just an awful moment too. >> torturous. >> amazingly no one died. a miracle. miracle. 111 homes go up in flames, no
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one dies. that is absolutely amazing. again -- another example when they say get out. get out. for those evacuation orders. they give those orders for a reason. but, luckily no one killed. just beyond scarred community. man. and given the last couple of days, it's somewhat easy to forget that a week from right now we're going to be reporting the results of the presidential election. maybe. >> maybe. >> maybe. >> we'll see what you do, ohio. in the meantime, president obama will tour hard-hit areas of new jersey today. mitt romney meanwhile will hold three campaign events today. in florida, he turned a scheduled political rally yesterday in ohio in a bid to support sandy relief efforts. >> we won't be able to solve all the problems with our effort this morning. one of the things i've learned in life is that you make the difference you can. >> democrats have been hammering romney over a statement he made at a debate last year in which he said some of fema's responsibilities should be turned over to the states. and sandy is looming large over next week's presidential election with officials scrambling to make up for time lost to the storm.
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>> as millions remain without power and many roads are still impassible, many voting sites were forced to close in battleground states like north carolina and virginia. maryland extended early voting to friday. pennsylvanians now have until tomorrow to request an absentee ballot. despite the tragedy, if you care about the election, get out there and vote. >> you hate to hear any stories that are going to come about in the next week or so that people weren't able to get to the polling centers. >> the power of the polling sites. all kinds of logistical issues. back here in manhattan, something of an unfortunate tourist destination has popped up, or, i guess, come down, maybe, we don't want it to come down. it's this massive crane that's just toppled over in sandy's winds, just dangling. >> yeah. this has kind of become an icon of the storm damage up here. still hanging in there. it has been secured for now. they tell us. gas and steam lines in the area have been shut off to avoid any danger of fire. new york's mayor says given what
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else he has to be dealt with, what has to be dealt with in all of this, he, quote, feels very good about the crane's situation. >> you live close. i don't think you feel very good about it, do you? it's been noted new york city is divided in two halves, one the lower with limited power and flooded roads. >> the other, upper manhattan, where downed trees and cable outages seem to be the biggest problems. >> for city residents who don't need cable tv or power for that matter it is downed trees creating a problem. this morning an unusual but adorable scene. central park, the hub of life for humans and canines alike, is shut down. the entrances are barricaded, and branches litter the park, making for some sad dogs like little riley. >> our producer's dog there too. they said more than 7,000 trees down in parks across new york city. gives you an idea of the wind damage here. coming up -- with so many people without power, some important information. >> our senior medical
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contributor dr. tim johnson will let us know how and when to keep your food safe in the fridge. that and some other safety tips when we come back on "world news now." stay with us. >> announcer: "world news now" weather brought to you by united health care. i'm only in my 60's... >> announcer: "world news now" weather brought to you by united health care. big plans. so when i found out medicare doesn't pay all my medical expenses, i looked at my options. then i got a medicare supplement insurance plan. [ male announcer ] if you're eligible for medicare, you may know it only covers about 80% of your part b medical expenses. the rest is up to you. call now and find out about an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. like all standardized medicare supplement plans, it helps pick up some of what medicare doesn't pay. and could save you thousands in out-of-pocket costs. to me, relationships matter. i've been with my doctor for 12 years. now i know i'll be able to stick with him. hd 3
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welcome back, wall street will be up and running, open for welcome back. wall street will be up and running, open for business for the first time since superstorm sandy blew ashore. >> after a two-day shutdown turned the new york stock exchange into pretty much a ghost town, it does reopen this morning, running for the first time on backup generators. in fact, financial experts feared that closing for a third day would have triggered a dangerous backup in stock sales.
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this morning more than 8.2 million people and 21 states are without power in the wake of superstorm sandy. >> how big that storm was. that's amazing. >> that means there were millions of refrigerators full of food when the lights went out. how long will it last? abc's senior medical contributor dr. tim johnson has some advice. >> reporter: as hurricane sandy batters much of the east coast of the u.s., people are being reminded to stay indoors and not take unnecessary risks. that advice also applies to perishable foods when the power goes out for any reason. food in your refrigerator could become a source of food poisoning. after four hours or more with no power, throw out any perishable foods in the fridge. you have more time with food in your freezer. frozen foods should remain safe to eat for 48 hours if the freezer is full and as long as the door was kept shut. if the freezer is half full, that safety window is cut in half to just 24 hours. however, opening the freezer door allows cold aur to escape, so the food spoils more quickly.
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after any extended power outage, you should always examine the food before preparing it.quickl. after any extended power outage, you should always examine the food before preparing iso the f. after any extended power outage, you should always examine the food before preparing it. dr. timothy johnson. if it looks discovered, has a strange texture, or smells bad, throw it out. getting rid of spoiled food is far better than putting your family's health at risk. i'm dr. timothy johnson. >> when in doubt throw it out. >> good advice. still ahead, an iconic image is gone. >> part of atlantic city's famous boardwalk another victim of sandy. but the people of this troubled town have more significant rebuilding ahead. >> announcer: "world news now" continues after this from our abc stations. >> announcer: "world news now" cont
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well, this is what the residents of new jersey's long beach island found when they went back yesterday after sandy had passed. >> the storm surge broke through the dunes along that narrow
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barrier island, tossing boats like matchsticks, flooding streets and sweeping homes completely off their foundations, some found on the highways. >> of course, no place harder hit than atlantic city a few miles south of long beach island where sandy made that direct hit. >> abc's ginger zee rode out the storm there and surveyed the devastation after it was over. >> reporter: record tide. record pressure. record sand. that's atlantic city from above. parts of the iconic boardwalk dismantled. and that with the billowing smoke amidst the ruins, that's seaside heights, new jersey, where an amusement park was swept away. and between every house a little sandy leftovers. i want you to look at this with me. come over here. this car is completely covered in sand. up to the wheel well. this was at the bottom of the ocean before the storm. the water isn't all gone. >> they keep telling you to go, go, go.
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where are you supposed to go? >> reporter: meet marie cook and her daughter lauren. >> my car has eight inches of water in it. my heater went. my washer and dryer went. air conditioning condenser went. it came in and went into my den. >> reporter: trying to dry out and prepping for a possible week without power. >> you'll live through it. believe me, honey. you'll live through it. >> reporter: the cooks weren't the only ones who stayed. we took a ride with the national guard. followed firefighters checking on people door to door. >> fire department! >> reporter: both groups running rescue missions all day. and from some who had to run the dicey rescues, a suggestion. >> i hope it's a lesson for everyone who stayed. next time, evacuate. >> reporter: so all of that destruction, here you can see parts of the historic atlantic city boardwalk. look at these enormous chunks of wood. they're snapped in half. some of them splintered. nails everywhere. ropes wrapped around. pretty unbelievable to think this is the one that you have probably walked on. i certainly have. the one that stretches in front of the casino. this is the north end. it its shredded much like the rest of jersey shore.
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ginger zee, abc news, atlantic city, new jersey. ey. you disgust me.
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not just a sensation, sensational relief. finally this half-hour, some joy alongside all of the pain of the past two days. there has been so much loss and sadness of course to report in the weak of hurricane sandy. >> so we are very happy to t finally this half hour, some joy alongside all of the pain of the past two days. there has been so much loss and sadness of course to report in the wake of hurricane sandy. >> so we are very happy to tell you this morning about a story of a baby boy who came into this world on the tail end of the storm. here is abc's linsey davis. >> reporter: despite all of sandy's destruction, the the schleppys can't take their eyes off their little miracle born in the midst of the storm. >> he's perfect.
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>> reporter: the schleppys had a generator, water, and food, but weren't prepared for this. at 5:00 they lost power. right around the same time christine started feeling like the baby might come. >> contractions at this point were coming fast and strong. >> reporter: and so began an epic journey through lashing rain and punishing wind. their original plan was to go to this hospital in princeton, but when their ambulance got stuck in the mud they set off for another hospital in another ambulance, but downed trees and power lines prevented them from making it there too. finally they wound up here, at a church gymnasium, where doctors from a nearby mobile medical van helped deliver the baby without anesthesia. >> they quickly got the drapes on and we're doing this. >> reporter: had they not delivered a baby before? because these mobile -- >> no. >> reporter: baby and mom are doing just fine. and at just 5 pounds, 2 ounces and not a day old. little liam has weathered one of the worst storms of most people's lifetimes. linsey davis, abc news, summerville, new jersey.
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>> what a story mama will have for him in a few years, huh? that storm going on outside during labor. >> what an ordeal. must have been. liam is the couple's fourth child. they probably thought they were ready for anything. >> did you hear that? no epidural. how wonderful the mobile hospital was there for them, mom and baby are just fine. i don't know if you could hear in the piece, linsey asked -- "had any of them delivered a baby before?" "no." >> first time. >> first time. mom and dad's fourth. >> their first. >> yeah. >> interesting odds there. so an extraordinary last 36 hours, the images we have seen today and what has come through. again, i have said it before. went through the tornados, 9/11, katrina, the weather stories of the past two years have been incredible. i think you will see again in the aftermath of the storm, so often the worst of mother nature tends to bring out the very best in humanity and think we will see that play out up and down the co
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this morning on "world news now" -- after the perfect storm. >> with a mixture of determination and disbelief, millions of people reeling from hurricane sandy are taking the first steps in what will be a very long recovery. realizing what has been lost and changed forever. >> we'll rebuild it. no question in my mind we'll rebuild it, but for those of us who are my age, it won't be the same. >> the numbers are staggering, but they only begin to tell the story. at least 50 dead, more than 8 million without power, tens of billions of dollars in damage. and the resilient people of new york city are once again forced to find a way to cope. >> and we saw the river coming toward us. and it -- it actually looked like something out of a -- a movie.
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it was -- it was unbelievable. and later today, president obama will visit parts of new jersey that bore the brunt of the superstorm as the vote now six days away is overshadowed by its victims. it's wednesday, october 31st. >> announcer: from abc news, this is "world news now." good wednesday morning, everyone. i'm paula faris. >> doesn't quite feel like halloween, does it? it's a weird feeling this morning. >> yes. it definitely puts a spin on trick or treat, doesn't it? >> yes. just a weird holiday today. good morning. i'm rob nelson. in the past 36 hours, mother nature has taken much from communities throughout the country. >> but that destruction has strengthened the resilience and bonds of people in those communities. this morning on "world news now," we're going to take a closer look at the storm's aftermath and how people are coping, what has been lost and how they're planning to rebuild
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it. when you talk about what's been lost, where do you begin really? >> it is a long, long road as we said. >> we do begin this morning with the dire situation along new jersey's devastated coastline. i want you to take a look from above, a bird's-eye view. sand blown blocks into town. houses under water. a popular tourist spot simply gone. >> pictures say it all. now stranded residents are waiting in the dark for rescue. and there's a new threat on top of all of that. leaking fuel in the standing water could spark an explosion. abc's terry moran reports from seaside heights. >> reporter: it was a surreal journey. at dusk we canoed through the flooded streets of seaside heights. a summer town, overwhelmed and eerily silent after the storm wrecked it. >> this is incredible. here and there, those who stayed, they're refugees now. did you ride the storm out? >> yes, we stayed here. >> reporter: the boardwalk, it was the heart of this classic jersey shore resort. a strange place now.
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the amusement park is in ruins. the ride that gave generations of kids so many thrills, like crumpled and broken in the surf. little left here. this is sandy's legacy.aike crumpled and broken in the surf. little left here. this is sandy's legacyike crumpled and broken in the surf. little left here. this is sandy's legacike crumpled and broken in the surf. little left here. this is sandy's legacike crumpled and broken in the surf. little left here. this is sandy's legacaike crumpled and broken in the surf. little left here. this is sandy's legacyike crumpled and broken in the surf. little left here. this is sandy's legacke crumpled and broken in the surf. little left here. this is sandy's legace crumpled and broken in the surf. little left here. this is sandy's legac crumpled and broken in the surf. little left here. this is sandy's legacy. so many communities will never be the same after this terrible storm struck monday. it made landfall here near margate, new jersey, and as sandy moved inland, the bulk of its wrath was felt in the upper right quadrant of its path, leaving a trail of misery stretching north. it devastated atlantic city and the famous jersey shore, beach towns and barrier island all the way up to new york. the island of manhattan inundated as the hudson and east rivers flooded. the richardson family chose to stay behind despite their living room and kitchen in three feet of water. >> well, there's nothing to do now but just clean up. >> reporter: new jersey's governor chris christie known for his brashness seemed himself moved by what he saw. >> as a kid who was born and
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raised in this state, who spent a lot of time over my life at the jersey shore. no question in my mind we will rebuild it. >> reporter: in cape may, the very southern tip touch the shore, no major damage. but a landscape transformed. this is an 8-foot street sign. that is now, waist high. in berkeley, the scene was equally tragically bizarre. as we made our way north along the shore, we got a sense of how vast this recovery must be. even here in seaside heights, a drowned town now, haunted by its stranded and frightened residents and the ghosts of so many summers past. >> surreal to see. and here in new york city, things are slowly -- and we stress slowly -- getting back to normal. crews are working throughout the night to restore power off to the 750,000 people that are still in the dark. >> and the work of pumping out subway and traffic tunnels under the city's rivers is making some progress.
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the subways do remain closed though. also closed is laguardia airport, which was inundated with water. the other major airports, jfk and new york liberty, are resumg service, limited service. >> it was a record storm surge that caused all the problems in lower manhattan. even the extensive precautions taken by utilities were not enough to keep the power on in lower manhattan, but on a positive note -- and we do like positive notes -- the new york stock exchange resumes trading this morning. back-to-back days off for the first time in nearly 124 years. >> since 1888. systems were closed for weather. a blizzard back then, now this. >> in midtown, manhattan, the massive crane that was toppled in sandy's wind. still hanging there. >> despite looking precariously perched, officials say it has been secured for now. gas and steam lines in the area
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have been shut off to avoid a danger of fire. new york's mayor actually says given everything else, he quote, feels very good about the crane's situation. i know that neighborhood. people were out there yesterday taking pictures next to it. it's become like a tourist destination, in a weird way the last couple days. >> very weird way. one of the heart-wrenching images from our storm coverage was the tiny babies being evacuated from a new york hospital after the power failed. >> now we are learning amazing new details how that rescue operation went down. abc's brandi hitt joining us from outside new york hospital. hi, brandi. >> hi, paula. hi, rob. good morning to you. yes. talk about a delicate situation here. 24 hours ago the power went out in lower manhattan. that included new york university medical center where the power is still out right now, and those backup generators failed. and now we're starting to hear the heroic efforts made by doctors and nurses. they really had to put their priorities straight and go for the emergency and the critical care patients, including those
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20 tiny babies that you may have seen the video so far that have been coming into the newsroom. i mean these babies, some of them were on respirators, and they had to have the air pumped manually into their lungs by the nurses and doctors as they carried them down these long stairwells, just very slowly. you can imagine just a delicate situation. talk about an emotional sight, too, for people who gathered out on the street to watch this. the doctors and nurses helped get the critically injured to several hospitals. and some of the equipment was battery operated. this all went off without a hitch, which is pretty amazing considering the circumstances, according to abc news' dr. jennifer ashton. >> when you talk about moving patients out of a hospital and taking them down multiple flights of stairs, it is a logistical and medical nightmare.
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>> reporter: and, again, it all went off without a hitch. you even heard from president obama "today" today praising those nurses and the doctors. and now each one of the patients, the hospital behind me is now empty. each one of those patients is now being treated somewhere else that still need care. if not, they have been allowed to go home. as you can see also here, we are still in the dark in lower manhattan. likely going to be several more days before they get the power restored to the region. rob and paula? >> all right. brandi hitt in manhattan this morning. brandi, we thank you for that report. and they knew it would be bad, but the intensity and cope of sandy took even the most seasoned weather experts by complete surprise. >> no one thought it would be this bad. after covering storms for decades, abc's sam champion was amazed as he rode out this one in the hardest hit area of manhattan. >> reporter: after 30 years of covering storms, there was no doubt in of my mind that sandy was going to be the superstorm predicted, simply because no super-charged hybrid storm like this had ever made landfall.
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it was a hurricane wrapped in a nor'easter. we're standing as the rolling water laps ore the edge here. there is already a whitecap. i knew there would be serious flooding by the next high tide. you can't see the edge of the sand. i can't get there anyway. that means the water is about this high there. just after 10:00 monday night, i was stunned to realize the extent of that flooding. there we were, all surrounded by water now trapped on an island inside an island, looking for a way to get out. first driving south, then east, then north, only to find a blockade of water at every turn. we had no choice but to retreat to the highest possible spot and wait out the night. we were lucky. the water went down in a matter of hours and we were able to get out, but for others who have suffered the effect of sandy, the wait to be cleared of those effects will be much longer. sam champion, abc news, new york. >> you hear people, who this is
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their business. weather, covered it for years. to hear them talk about it in such term of being so amazed. that puts it in perspective how bad this really was, ho many storms he's seen. this one caught him by surprise. unbelievable. >> it was the perfect storm. sandy fueled a massive fire in queens, one of the most destructive in the history of the city. >> this story is beyond heartbreaking. the wind-driven flames ripped through block after block, destroying more than 100 homes, 111 are the latest count. firefighters managed to rescue two dozen people, but the floodwaters kept them from tackling the blaze full on. before it was over, the neighborhood was unrecognizable reduced to nothing but smouldering ash. part of your life got ripped out of you? >> that's a good description. >> i have over 34 years on the job. i have never seen this before. this amount of devastation. >> amazingly there only a few minor injuries. breezy point was also devastated on 9/11, losing 37 residents, including firefighters in the world trade center. also the home currently to a representative in congress as well.
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>> and just take a look at that video. it's apocalyptic, the scenes there. in all, 111 homes all burned. they don't know the cause just yet. that is look a movie scene out of there. out of all the horrible scenes we are going to see from the aftermath. the fire in queens, that neighborhood, i find that that just particularly heartbreaking. god bless those folks out there because that's an entire community just wiped out. the firefighters to a certain extent were helpless against it. just unbelievable. >> and the cruel irony, the firefighters, the majority of firefighters that live there, and yet this was a blaze they could do nothing about. >> so sad. well, to lighten it up here with great story about a quite an arrival during the storm. >> little liam schleppy couldn't wait to get life going monday. his mom christine started having serious contractions just as they lost power. after two ambulance ride they arrived, not at a hospital but at a church gym. >> i'm sure they were praying.
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where christine gave birth. the help of doctors who never delivered a child before. and with no anesthesia. 5-pound, 2-ounce, liam, mom, and dad all doing well. he is a beautiful little baby. >> welcome to the world, kid. >> our coverage of the aftermath of hurricane sandy continues after the break. up next we'll take you to communities where families lost everything in an instant, and first responders frantically rushed those people to safety. ♪ >> announcer: "world news now" weather brought to you by consumer cellular. >> announcer: "world news now" weather brought to you by consumer cellular. [ female announcer ] so how long have you been living flake-free
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the pictures just -- can't even put those into words. one of the hardest hit towns in the hardest hit state is little ferry, new jersey. sandy's tidal surge overwhelming the levee meant to protect it. >> within an hour, little ferry was under water, and within another hour the rescues were under way. abc's alex perez is there. >> reporter: rescuers made their way through flooded streets, picking up stranded families. >> do you want to come out? >> what?
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>> reporter: the boats bringing people to where they could be trucked to safety. >> come on, mommy. >> reporter: whole families huddling together in the backs of trucks. >> the entire first floor gone. we were able to go up on the second floor, which was us. the water is almost gone. we have a baby and an elderly person. >> the baby. the baby is in here. >> reporter: the frantic rescue operation began after sandy's storm surge swamped new jersey. >> it happened so fast. within 15 minutes we had ten feet of water. >> reporter: stunned residents like vincent grabbed whatever they could as the waters rose. >> heartbreaking, heartbreaking. then you look. there's nothing there no more. nothing. you can't salvage anything. >> reporter: new jersey took the brunt of sandy's wrath, the coast especially hit hard. these images from the town of seaside heights. neighborhoods consumed by sand and water. down the shore, look at this. the community of seabright before sandy.
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and seabright today, just buried. in atlantic city the iconic boardwalk now in ruins. the recovery in the garden state just beginning. but saving lives was the top priority. >> she can't walk. but she's in good spirits. she's not injured. we're just waiting to reunite her with her daughter and get her to an evacuation center. >> reporter: first responders also racing to save lives in new york. boats navigating the swamped streets of staten island across the harbor from manhattan. terrified 3-year-old haley romby lifted into the arms of safety. so the rescues continue. >> hey, guys, you can just put them on the boat. >> reporter: sandy may have taken away these people's home, but she couldn't take away what they cherished the most. and rescue crews are expected to continue working through the night to make sure people strand in their homes are able to get to safety. most people say they thought they were prepared for the
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storm. one family tells me they moved all of their valuables, their belongings up four feet off the ground inside their home. the problem is they got five feet of water inside their home. alex perez, abc news, little ferry, new jersey. >> announcer: "world news now" continues after this from i'm only in my 60's... i've got a nice long life ahead. big plans. so when i found out medicare doesn't pay all my medical expenses, i got a medicare supplement insurance plan. [ male announcer ] if you're eligible for medicare, you may know it only covers about 80% of your part b medical expenses. the rest is up to you. call and find out about an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. like all standardized medicare supplement plans, it could save you thousands in out-of-pocket costs. call now to request your free decision guide. i've been with my doctor for 12 years. now i know i'll be able to stick with him. you'll be able to visit any doctor or hospital that accepts medicare patients.
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plus, there are no networks, and you never need a referral. see why millions of people have already enrolled in the only medicare supplement insurance plans endorsed by aarp. don't wait. call now. welcome back. president obama will be in new jersey touring the storm damage with governor christie. welcome back.pr welcome back. president obama will be in new jersey touring the storm damage with governor christie. >> the election is less than a week away. and sandy has blown both candidates off course. here is jonathan karl. >> reporter: mitt romney transformed the planned ohio rally into a bid to support relief efforts. >> we won't be able to solve all the problems with our efforts this morning. one of the things i learned in life is you make the difference you can. >> reporter: it has all the trappings of a traditional
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campaign event. you've about got the stage, big american flag, campaign music, lots of romney supporters. but you also have over here canned goods and supplies that people have brought for victims of the storm. the storm put romney in a bind. while the president can lead relief efforts -- >> this is something heartbreaking for the nation. >> reporter: there's not much for romney to do beyond encouraging supporters to pitch in. and with fema working overtime, democrats are hammering him for what he said at a debate when asked if some of fema's responsibilities should be turned over to the states. >> absolutely. anytime you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that's the right direction. and if you can go even further and send it back to the private sector, that's even better. >> reporter: romney wouldn't answer questions about that. >> governor, would you eliminate fema if you were president? >> reporter: even with all the canceled events, the campaign continues. bill clinton led a pro-obama rally in indianapolis that appeared entirely political.
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with a race this close, not even a storm of the century can bring the campaign to a halt. jonathan karl, abc news, kettering, ohio. . jonathan karl, abc news, kettering, ohio. cover everything. only about 80% of your part b medical expenses. the rest is up to you. so consider an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. like all standardized medicare supplement plans, they pick up some of what medicare doesn't pay. and save you up to thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket costs. call today to request a free decision guide to help you better understand what medicare is all about. and which aarp medicare supplement plan works best for you. with these types of plans, you'll be able to visit any doctor or hospital that accepts medicare patients... plus, there are no networks, and you'll never need a referral to see a specialist. there's a range of plans to choose from, too. and they all travel with you. anywhere in the country.
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sign up at rid-x.com. and, finally, what turned and, finally, what turned hurricane sandy into a hybrid monster was that arctic front that it collided with when it arrived on land. >> and that triggered a blizzard on the edges of the storm, and abc's lisa stark put on her snow boots and went to find out how people were coping with their early blast of winter. >> reporter: western maryland remains buried in snow. up to two feet in some areas. one of eight states walloped with blizzard conditions when sandy roared through. in west virginia even those sent out to rescue others had to be rescued. and at the snowshoe mountain resort, snow drifted into piles three feet high, whipped by 60-mile-an-hour winds. truckers and travelers were
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forced to wait out the blizzard when a major highway from maryland to west virginia was shut down for nearly 50 miles. when we caught up with kevin, he had been stranded for 15 hours. >> been here since what, 8:00. >> reporter: in maryland, road crews struggled to open the roads. >> chain saw. >> reporter: it took mark wells five hours to hack through 50 to 60 trees jet to get to work. >> it was pretty treacherous. the trees were falling behind me as fast as i was cutting them out in front of me. >> reporter: wells has had no sleep, and there's more roads to clear. the problem isn't just the depths of the snow -- it is deep -- but it's the weight. this is a very heavy, wet snow. you can see the branches of the trees. they just can't stand up to it. all of those falling trees brought down power lines. like almost everyone here, the myers have no electricity. >> i've seen a lot of snow up here, but not from the hurricane.
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>> reporter: it is not over yet. blizzard warnings remain. lisa stark, abc new, grantsville, maryland. >> this storm was amazing when you think about it. it was a hurricane wrapped in a nor'easter wrapped in a blizzard. it was everything. the most all-encompassing system most have ever witnessed. beyond the flooding and rain here, you had feet of snow. incredible. some places up to 26 inches of snow. >> my family back in michigan. i know columbus, ohio, got drilled with some snow as well. they said lake michigan was expecting the highest wave on record, around 22 feet high. >> that was the thing about the storm, just the sheer size of it. 1,000 miles from cloud to cloud. in addition to being, at the center, category 3. don't let category 1 fool you. center terms of pressure. cat 3. same strength as katrina. but the size of it cloud to cloud, hard to escape its grip for most of the country. just an amazing system. we will continue to cover it, of course, throughout the morning. keep it right here on abc. cover it, of @
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this morning on "world news now" -- after the perfect storm. >> for more than 8 million people struggling in the cold and dark, life as they know it is turned upside down, but they will recover. but for at least 50 people, hurricane sandy proved deadly. >> but nature is a lot more powerful than we are. >> after a devastating blow from nature, new york city is already on the rebound. its mass transit and airports, it stores and stock exchanges coming back to life. its neighbor, new jersey, still in deep pain. >> i have met some folks there that obviously now have no place to live at the moment, and are extraordinarily emotional. and what they wanted more than anything else was just, you know, to see me and to get a
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hug. >> a shore spot called fun town is now a mangled ghost town. haunting images on this halloween. but in the face of the worst storm many people will ever see, some of the best of human nature, the bravery, the generosity, the determination to rebuild is on full display. it is wednesday, october 31st. >> announcer: from abc news, this is "world news now." and good wednesday morning, everyone. i'm paula faris. kind of a somber mood to this halloween. >> absolutely. feels a little strange, a little surreal this morning. good morning, everybody. i'm rob nelson. the impact and images from this storm will not soon be forgotten. >> so much has been lost, and the clean-up, it is just beginning. for many the grief will be lasting. >> but communities are proving as powerful as mother nature helping one another move into the future one determined step at a time. and so we begin this wednesday morning, a morning in which two of the three major airports
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serving new york city are reopening, though, with limited service. >> the one not opening, la guardia was seen from above by abc's juju chang. it was part of a long helicopter tour she took yesterday. >> what's going on? >> it's closed! you have to go an alternate route. >> reporter: it took as much of the day navigating through streets made treacherous by sandy's fury. oh, my gosh, we just got hit by a wave. but we managed to rendezvous with a coast guard at a shuttered airport in new jersey. for a harrowing bird's-eye view of this wounded city. >> look at this neighborhood right here. oh, man.
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>> it's devastated. >> the building is gone entirely. >> reporter: their mission, to get a more accurate picture of sandy's impact. >> just more flooding down here on the left side. >> reporter: new york's rivers surged above the banks of lower manhattan with a record 13-foot wall of water. you could see the damage everywhere. the city's vital infrastructure, its underground subways crippled. the system that carries 5 million riders every day, still a deluge tunnel of darkness. authorities say it will take days to pump the water out of 46 miles of flooded track. largely because of that, the city is paralyzed for now. schools, restaurants, and many businesses remain closed. with subways shut down, the only way on and off this island are its bridges and tunnels, which are slowly beginning to reopen. >> open for business. >> oh, my goodness. that is amazing. >> reporter: but flying out of this city is easier said than done. >> looks like la guardia is sinking into the ocean. >> reporter: that's laguardia down there. it normally handles a thousand flights a day. now a modern-day atlantis. >> it looks like a river. >> it does. i couldn't see it at first. >> reporter: it doesn't look like a land mass. it looks like a lake or a pond. >> as we fly around the lower tip of manhattan, even new york's waterways are scarred. >> there's a lot of oil or
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something right down there by pier 17. >> reporter: every one of the skyscrapers are without power. they're just dark. there is no street lights. there is no stop lights. in fact, the only lights are the headlights of the con ed trucks frantically trying to restore power. as they work through the night, which may be fitting for a city that never sleeps. i'm juju chang in manhattan. >> wow. what a view on the destruction. oh, amazing piece. president obama visits new jersey later today to see the damage firsthand. the state's famed jersey shore took a direct hit as sandy roared ashore. >> powerful winds and ocean surge knocked houses off their foundations, demolished boardwalks, and wrecked amusement rides. viewing the damage was obviously an emotional moment for the state's usually brash governor. >> as a kid who was born and raised in this state and who spent a lot of time over my life, both my childhood and my adult life at the jersey shore.
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we'll rebuild it. no question in my mind, we'll rebuild it. but for those of us who are my age, it won't be the same. it'll be different because many of the iconic things that made it what it was are now gone and washed into the ocean. >> more than half of the state is without power, and now residents are being warned that leaking fuel and standing water could spark an explosion. as if the flooding wasn't enough, now they're worrying about a gas explosion. >> you could really hear the emotion in governor christie's voice. you can feel that, the sense of loss so clear. up the coast there are new questions this morning about a power failure at one of new york's prestigious hospitals. hundreds of patients had to be evacuated from nyu medical center. >> and now a trustee says the hospital board knew the generators were out of date and
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at risk before the storm hit. abc's david muir was at the hospital as the evacuation began. >> reporter: when we arrived, all you could see was the outline of the hospital against a darkened sky. a lone flashlight in one of the hospital rooms there, as doctors and nurses rushed from patient to patient. out front, ambulances, these images from my iphone as we approached the hospital. just one of the nearly 300 patients who were one by one brought out and taken to safety. from the sky, ambulances lined up around the block from all over the city. and we're learning more about the moment the lights went out, the moment those critical machines, the respirators stopped. this young doctor right there. >> the patients on ventilators. >> the babies. >> babies, yeah. >> reporter: their first concern, babies in intensive care. 20 of them. this nurse clutching a newborn wrapped in blanket, holding one of those plastic bags. she was doing the work of the respirators herself. in fact, all the nurses in the unit were doing what's called "bagging the air," literally squeezing bags of air into those tiny little lungs, cradling the
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babies and carrying them nine floors down. another baby rushed out, dwarfed by the size of the gurney. once outside, the bag replaced with oxygen brought in by paramedics. an entire team surrounding one baby. in fact, a hospital source telling me tonight that's what they did the moment the power was cut off, dividing into teams, surrounding one patient at a time, carefully bringing them down a darkened stairwell, carrying them on plastic sleds rushed in by the paramedics. flashlights all they had to see their way. >> there is literally like a bunch of people who would go with each patient carry them down the stairs physically. >> reporter: they were pulled out on the sled, sliding along the hospital floor. one by one we watched. still evacuating long after the sun came up. it's about 10:00 a.m. in the morning, and you can see there is still a line of ambulances all the way up the street here. this operation has been going on for 12 hours now. you can see them lining up still at the front entrance of the hospital here as they carefully bring the patients down. >> 15 hours after the evacuations began they were done. and the president had learned of those heroic nurses and those newborns. >> during the darkness of the storm, i think we also saw
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what's brightest in america, nurses at nyu hospital carrying fragile newborns to safety. >> reporter: it's really remarkable what the nurses and doctors did with all the machines down. they started pumping air into the tiny lungs of the newborns on their own when the respirators failed, keeping those babies alive. we know six area hospitals here in new york took every one of the patients from this hospital, four of the patients who left here were women in labor and we have learned that at least two of them have now given birth. david muir, abc news, new york. >> unbelievable. >> wow. heartbreaking story. in breezy point, queens, they were bracing for water, but what they got was a fire so fierce more than 100 homes burned to the ground. >> i believe you described it as apocalyptic, rob. sandy forced the flames through the neighborhood like a blow torch glowing across the top of the dark sky. but waist-deep floodwaters held firefighters at bay. by daybreak it looked like a war
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zone. obliterated homes with only chimneys still standing. >> reporter: a part of your life got ripped out of you? >> that's a good description. >> i have over 34 years on the job. i have never seen this before, this amount of devastation. >> the fire was one of the worst in the city's history. amazingly, no one was killed. folks, if you're going donate in the aftermath of the storm, keep that community and those folks in mind, please. that is just beyond devastating. amid our reporting on the storm and its aftermath. we're starting to hear talk about whether or not sandy was the result of climate change. >> now, scientists say that it's unfair to blame the storm and the destruction on the change in the earth's climate. there's no conclusive link between any one storm and global warming. nonetheless, new york's governor calls it all a new reality. >> we have a 100-year flood every two years now. and i think at this point it is undeniable that we have a higher frequency of these extreme weather situations, and we're going to have to deal with it.
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>> scientists have concluded as the climate warms, there will be fewer total hurricanes, but they say those that do develop will be stronger and wetter. >> an issue we have not unfortunately heard much about in the campaign. but in light of this, you hope it would generate some discussion. so what about the governor's question? in the aftermath of storms like these, there's always speculation that things are getting worse. >> so we took that particular question to meteorologist jim dickey of accuweather.com to see just how unusual a weather pattern like this is. >> good morning, rob and paula. well, sandy will likely go down as one of if not the worst storms to ever impact the new jersey beaches and new york city. the reason behind this unprecedented impact is the unusual path this storm took. sandy's path took it directly into southern new jersey. a worst-case scenario for the region. now here, every line you see on this graphic is the track the tropical system took that impacted the new york city area. well, as you can see, a number of tropical systems did hit through the years. no storm took that direct path into southern new jersey like sandy did on monday.
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so why this unusual path, and why is it unseen until now? well, first off, it's important to note that tropical systems do spawn in october. the atlantic hurricane season ends november 30th here, there is a secondary peak in october of tropical storm formation. in fact, it is because the storm occurred so late in october, in my opinion, that it was able to take the path it did. through the fall, the jet stream migrates its way southward and strengthens, bringing shots of cold air southward with it. it was one of the cold shots of air, and a powerful one at that, that allowed sandy to become the superstorm it did and also that forced it to come in land at the sharp angle that it did. because of the storm's path, strong winds were directed inland at high tide into the new york city area, into the new jersey beaches. this produced the devastating storm surge the like of which the region hasn't seen in recent memory if ever and hopefully will not see again for a long, long time. rob and paula, back to you. >> all right. our thanks to accuweather's jim dickey.
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and here's maybe an indication of how things are going up here in new york. do you remember that massive crane in midtown manhattan that was brought down by sandy's powerful wind? well, new york's mayor says he feels very good about it now. >> he might be the only one that feels good about it. the crane has been secured and all the gas and steam lines in that area have been turned off. that is to avoid a fire in the event that, if it were to come crashing down. the streets around there, closed. offices are said to be closed indefinitely. he says once the wind dies down, the mayor says, the city will find a way to pull it in, all ten tons of it. >> that will be an amazing operation. that thing's a thousand feet up in the air. you don't want to see it fall. probably the shrapnel alone could do some damage, but the city has done a good job of blocking off a significant area around, including carnegie hall, one of our famous landmarks/venues here. keeping an eye on it. keep it up there. >> it's become a tourist attraction, as you mentioned. >> as it does. coming up -- our coverage of hurricane sandy continues after the break.
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an emotional day, really, for new jersey's governor. his memories of the areas that have endured so much devastation. >> but first, sandy may be the biggest october surprise of all for political campaigns. some say the storm has the candidates playing politics. it's all coming up on "world news now." ♪ >> announcer: "world news now" weather brought to you by lysol power and free. power and free. by lysol power and free. and harshness of bleach. and free ourselves from worrying about the ones we love. new lysol power & free has more cleaning power than bleach. how? the secret is the hydrogen peroxide formula. it attacks tough stains and kills 99.9% of germs. new lysol power & free. powerful cleaning that's family friendly. another step forward in our mission for health.
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until they see this. the oral-b pro-health clinical brush. its pro-flex sides adjust to teeth and gums for a better clean. the pro-health clinical brush from oral-b. sandy is not done with us just yet. sandy is not done with us just yet. she's still on the move this
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morning, sha thi sandy is not done with us just yet. she's still on the move this morning, shaking things up from coast to coast. >> this storm is so powerful. it has scrambled a presidential election that is now less than a week away. hire hero's abc's bill weir. >> reporter: sandy may be 50 miles outside of pittsburgh, but she's dropping a full assortment of meteorological misery from georgia to wisconsin. on the west virginia/maryland border it comes in the form of snow, enough to turn 50 miles of interstate into a treacherous parking lot. they're expecting 14 inches of this in north carolina. meanwhile, in cleveland, the storm scarred the rock 'n' roll hall of fame before churning up waves of lake michigan, high enough to set records and force folks from their midwestern homes. and the fact that all of this is playing out a week before election day could make sandy the mother of all october surprises. while it looked look a campaign stop in battleground ohio, mitt romney deliberately stepped off the stump to accept relief donations and encourage more, but he avoided questions about his previous stance on the role of fema.
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meanwhile president obama stayed in washington to visit the red cross and attend briefings, coordinate governors and utility ceos. >> i think he has handled it well. >> reporter: either a compassionate decision or calculated one depending on who was calling into ron verb's radio show in youngstown, ohio. >> you are on the air, nick. go ahead, please. >> where was he when it happened in benghazi? four people died. he flew to las vegas. he learned his lesson, that's all. >> reporter: but here's one republican's mind that has seemed to change, at least for now. governor chris christie. >> i want to thank the president personally for his personal attention to this. >> reporter: obama will be with christie in new jersey. and sandy will be in canada. and what it all means for the election is still destined to be a november surprise. i'm bill weir in youngstown, ohio. >> announcer: "world news now" continues after this from our abc stations. abc stations.
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governor chris christie was visibly shaken after surveying what sandy had done to his state. >> new jersey's governor described how emotional it has been to witness all the loss. >> let me start with i just never thought i would see what i saw today, ever. i have met some folks there that obviously now have no place to live at the moment and are extraordinarily emotional. and what they wanted more than
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anything else was just, you know, to see me and to get a hug. we got back up into the helicopter and flew to the jersey shore of my youth where we used to go all the time, to the boardwalk at seaside heights, and it is gone. the pier with the rides where i was -- took my kids this august before the republican convention, those rides are in the atlantic ocean. the rides my two younger kids rode this summer are in the atlantic ocean. the roller coaster, all of them. the stand in the middle of the boardwalk that sells sausage and peppers and lemonade is gone. and i looked for it today. and the entire structure is gone. >> there is -- >> very emotional. >> yeah, really is. >> there's politics, and then there's real life.
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we feel your pain, governor. and we'll be right back. nor. and we will be right back. ♪ we will be right back.
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♪ ♪
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how do those images not move you on this halloween morning? unbelievable. it really is just a surreal feeling here up and down the coast. >> i think the image that gets me is the medical personnel, just -- from nyu's medical center, taking those little babies, those 20 babies from nicu manually administering the oxygen. a lot of families didn't know that their children, their own children, their own infants were being transferred until they saw them on tv. >> guardian angels in the hospital. finally this half hour, the staggering toll of superstorm sandy has now killed at least 50 people across 11 states, at least 20 of them in the new york tri-state area alone. >> that number is certain to grow.
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and there are power outages in nearly half the states in this country. 8.2 million people are in the dark right now across 21 states on the eastern seaboard and the great lakes. i know con edison in new york says that this storm was the worst in its history, and the power is not expected to be back before the weekend. >> getting the subways back up and running dependent upon the power coming back on. really new york city is paralyzed by this. the subway system, the lifeblood of this town. so there's so much riding on the power getting back up. everyday conveniences, plus getting the city in motion and the railroad. i hope, obviously, as you have watched the show for a while. you know, i lived in new orleans for katrina. this has brought back a lot of memories from 2005. the same scenes played out in the south. now that it happened in the different part of the country, opened people's eyes it can happen in more than one part of the country and sensitize people to just how bad these storms can be. i hope maybe that's -- if there is any good to come out of this, maybe a little bit of that. >> we thank you for watching on this wednesday mkx;ñ;ñ;ñ
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